ESSEX: Take part in a choral masterpiece in Thaxted

THAXTED Church is welcoming people to come and take part in a choral performance as either a member of the audience or as a singer. Sir John Stainer s masterpiece, The Crucifixtion, will be performed at the church next Saturday (March 27) and conducted b

THAXTED Church is welcoming people to come and take part in a choral performance as either a member of the audience or as a singer.

Sir John Stainer's masterpiece, The Crucifixtion, will be performed at the church next Saturday (March 27) and conducted by his great grandson.

The family connection with conductor Michael Kibblewhite is sure to give an added dimension to the occasion for participants and their audience.

Chairman of the Thaxted Festival, Gareth Stainer - who is also a great grandson of the composer and is helping to organise the event - said: "If people want to be a part of the choir they can come along to the rehearsal at 1.30pm.


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"It's the sort of thing people will enjoy if they've had some previous experience in a choir. We've got more than 70 people booked to take part so far, but the church can hold many more.

"If people don't want to be in the choir they can come along to the evening performance to listen and, if they want, take part in the singing of the hymns."

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Conductor Mr Kibblewhite was a chorister at Magdalen College, Oxford, where his great-grandfather was choirmaster from 1860 to 1872. He was later a music scholar at Trinity College, Cambridge.

He founded Cantate, the youth choir which won gold and silver medals at the 2008 World Choir Games - the world's largest choral event - in Graz, Austria. He recently relinquished the post of music director after leading the choir for 15 years.

The Crucifixion tells the biblical story set to music including parts for soloists and organ. It was written in 1887 and has proved very popular.

"John Stainer was a great musical educator and raised the standard of singing in many choirs across the country," said Gareth Stainer. "The crucifixion was written specifically for the parish choir level and works very well."

Tickets for performers cost �10 if booked in advance or �12 on the door. Audience tickets, who are involved in the singing of the hymns only, cost �6. The student price for performing or audience is �5.

The rehearsal runs from 1.30pm to 4.30pm and the performance from 6pm to 7pm. Performers are advised to bring something to eat for the period between rehearsal and performance. Alternatively the Swan Hotel will serve food between noon and 10pm.

For more information or to pre-book, call the Thaxted Festival on 01371 831421 or visit thaxtedfestival.org.uk

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